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Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Graphic Design

black and white illustration of 10 forest animals sitting around a campfireBecome a stronger, more impactful visual communicator with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in graphic design from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Offered through the esteemed School of Design, this professional degree program challenges you to think about illustration, typeface and graphic usage critically and intelligently. Through a successive sequence starting with foundational two- and three-dimensional design courses, you’ll discover your style, become a more persuasive and adaptable designer, learn to use industry-standard digital and print tools and plant the roots for your future. Along the way, experiential learning, mentorship from faculty and portfolio-building opportunities translate your passion and intense curiosity into a rewarding career.


Why Graphic Design? | Curriculum | Careers | Learn More

Alumni Stories

Kevin Bergquist

As a Graphic Designer at Fulton Brewing Company in Minneapolis, MN, alumnus Kevin Bergquist demonstrates the skills he gained from the UCO College of Fine Arts and Design in his daily work.

Read more about Kevin

Why Earn a B.F.A. in Graphic Design From UCO?

Not everyone sees it, but graphic design surrounds us all. That’s through the roughly 5,000 advertisements the average American sees each day and far beyond from package design on foods and drinks to poster layouts to websites and even the arrangement of your computer’s desktop. Among these scenarios, visual elements draw the audience in to get them to want more or take action. Visual messages may be artistic, illustrative, systematic or simple—medium, consumer and goals all play a factor.

Part of the College of Fine Arts and Design, the School of Design views graphic design through a skills-based lens while driving you to intelligently think about visuals. Launched in 2001, our National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)-accredited graphic design program is the largest between Kansas City and North Texas. Beyond size, our approach attests to our success: We cultivate an environment where students build their skills and knowledge in preparation for a professional career, present mentorship and experience-building opportunities and want everyone to discover their identity as a designer. 

Along this path, the B.F.A. in graphic design program:

  • Values a well-rounded design education: We seek to have all B.F.A. students become masters of graphic design upon leaving the program. Rather than channel you in one direction, we consider the full expanse of abilities needed to stand out and succeed in today’s competitive and online-learning marketplace. You’ll explore advertising, package, web and other consumer- and user-facing media, becoming familiar with their specific methods.
  • Pushes you to grow: What constitutes effective design? What kind of message do visuals communicate? Along with expanding your print and digital techniques, the B.F.A. in graphic design program trains you to solve problems through visuals and express messages clearly and intelligently. 
  • Helps kick-start your career: Develop the bonds and skills that help you land your first professional designing job. All B.F.A. in graphic design students complete at least one internship, receive direction for building their portfolios before graduating and can spend time in a simulated studio environment to get a sense of their career path’s day-to-day workings. At the same time, the School of Design’s immersive community focuses on building connections—between your peers and with faculty—to facilitate a collaborative culture of learning, growth and celebrating each other’s successes. For additional networking opportunities, consider participating in AIGA UCO

B.F.A. in Graphic Design Curriculum

Due to the program’s objectives, you’ll be exposed to a mix of art, advertising and visual communications. B.F.A. in graphic design students complete 124 total credit hours, with 80 of those devoted toward your major. Along with completing University Core courses, you’ll progress through the following general sequence:

Required Foundational Courses

Refine your eye and creative skills with courses focusing on two- and three-dimensional design, from contours, texture, shape and typography to seeing this medium as a problem-solving tool. 

Required Graphic Design Courses

Delve into the intricacies of graphic design, from its history to the fundamentals of illustration and typography. Along the way, you’ll be introduced to and thoroughly come to understand computer and digital design tools, typography, illustration, photo editing and production, and start to see how graphic design can visually communicate a message, including through print, packaging and advertising. During this sequence, you’ll begin to assemble your professional portfolio.

Professional Preparation Courses

Continue growing the skills introduced during the graphic design sequence while critically reviewing and updating your professional portfolio. These advanced courses further cover the innovation and abilities needed to stand out in today’s marketplace and present opportunities for working in a graphic design studio environment.  

Review the full list of B.F.A. in graphic design courses

Careers in Graphic Design

Make a statement or convey a brand’s voice and personality through visuals. Improve the way users interact with an interface or impart your vision to the design of a website or brochure. Through emphasis on print and digital, the B.F.A. in graphic design sets you up for a range of rewarding career paths, including opportunities in web, print, advertising and package design.

Your degree paves the way toward an entry-level career with upward growth. Long term, through your vision and results, what you learn at UCO’s School of Design sets the foundation to manage a team and a brand’s visual direction as an art or creative director. 

Learn More About the B.F.A. in Graphic Design

Develop statement-making, expressive visuals with UCO’s B.F.A. in graphic design program. For any questions, contact Amy Johnson, M.F.A., or request additional information today.